Homecoming Tennis Court: the key players this season

Vladsinger at English Wikipedia

It’s officially homecoming season. A school spirited week that features many sporting events, including the Tennis ITA Regionals for the men and women’s team. Both teams have star players that are worthy of being on their own homecoming court.

Men’s Court

Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal
Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal

Jannis Koeke: Senior Koeke is coming off a spectacular season playing at the No. 1 position. He finished with an 11-8 record and had four match-clinching wins last season. Although it is homecoming week, German native Koeke doesn’t feel like it’s a big deal.

“As a foreigner, homecoming is not that much of a deal as maybe for American students, as we do not have something like that in Germany,” Koeke said. “Nevertheless, it is always great to be around during homecoming and feel that everybody is excited and maybe pick up a little energy from that.”

Koeke will need all the energy he can get with the ITA Regionals on Oct. 19 -24. A tournament that is set up to face against the best of the best.

“The ITA Regionals is always one of the highlights of the fall for a tennis player,” Koeke said. “There are some really good opponents, and I’m looking forward to competing with them. I will have two weeks of practice now to prepare for the tournament, so I will try to give my best every day in practice and gain some confidence through that in order to be ready.”

Still, even with a good amount practice, Koeke knows sometimes you just need a little bit of luck on your side.

“You need to be prepared for some tough days and practice hard and be focused,” Koeke said. “You’ll also always need to have ‘a good day’ to beat some tough guys.”

  • 2016 All-Conference Singles First Team
  • 2016 Sun Belt Commissioner’s List
  • No. 1 Position: 11-8 Singles Record
  • 4 Match Clinching Wins
  • 2 Wins over Ranked Players: No. 65 & 95 (at the time)
  • 9-8 Doubles Record at the No. 3 Position
Photo by Jade Johnson
Photo by Jade Johnson

Felipe Jaworski: Jaworski is another senior that looks to lead the team at the No. 6 position, often known as the closer. Jaworski finished last season with the best singles record of 15-3 and had two match-clinching wins in single play. Despite being away during homecoming week, the tournament will at Florida State, Jaworski plans to bring that energy with him.

“It is a little bit upsetting not being here during homecoming,” Jaworski said. “However it motivates us to go out there and represent Georgia State the best we can. Whenever we play, we are not only representing ourselves but we are representing our whole school, and that certainly gives us extra motivation to perform better.”

Leading up to the ITA Regionals, Jaworski and doubles partner Jack MacFarlane won their doubles flight in the Southern Intercollegiate Championship hosted by the University of Georgia. Jaworski believes the past few weeks of practice have helped him secure the victory and help him prepare for the ITA Regionals.

“We have been focusing a lot on conditioning over the past few weeks and that has been reflected on the court in the lasts tournaments since everybody is in great shape,” Jaworski said. “For Jannis, Zack (Kennedy) and me this is going to be our last tournament so we definitely want to go out there and give it our best.”

The keys to being successful at the ITA’s is to be confident and have a game plan, according to Jaworski.

“I think you just have to be confident about your game, go out there and do your game plan and just give it everything you got,” Jaworski said. “Tennis is tough because it is an individualistic sport, so you have to be mentally strong and resilient.”

  • Won Doubles flight at Southern Intercollegiate Championship
  • 2016 Sun Belt Commissioner’s List
  • 15-3 Singles Record at No. 6 position (led team)
  • 8-9 Doubles Record
Jack MacFarlane during a men's tennis practice. Photo by Jade Johnson
Jack MacFarlane during a men’s tennis practice.
Photo by Jade Johnson

Jack MacFarlane: MacFarlane is one of the youngest players on the team being a sophomore. Despite being an underclassman, MacFarlane has a ton of experience. He competed in 22 of 23 spring matches at the No. 5 position. He finished with a record of 13-7 in singles play. He was known as the most clutch player on the team, with six match-clinching wins for the team.

With a doubles victory at the Southern Intercollegiate Championship and winning seven of his last 10 matches dating back to last season, look for MacFarlane to bring that momentum and clutch-winning ability into the ITA Regionals.

  • Won Doubles flight at Southern Intercollegiate Championship
  • Sun Belt Player of the Week March 30, 2016
  • 13-7 Singles Record at the No. 5 Position (2nd best on the team)
  • 6 match-clinching wins
  • 10-9 Doubles Record at the No. 2 Position


Women’s Court

Photo by Dayne Francis
Photo by Dayne Francis

Tarani Kamoe: Kamoe is the lone senior on this young team, who can also be referred to as the doubles queen. Kamoe played at the No. 1 position in doubles last season and went 9-7. Kamoe is the leader of this team and looks to lead them to success in the ITA Regionals.

“I just feel like I need to step and lead a team,” Kamoe said. “With three new freshmen, it all comes down to chemistry and that mindset to want it all. We have to keep getting better each day at practice, on and off the court.”

That leadership has paid off so far this season based on some of the fall tournaments. Sophomore Lara Vovk won three matches in the singles top flight at the Mercer Gridiron Classic to win first place. Freshman Damria Muminovic went on to win the consolation draw at Baylor with three victories of her own. Look for Kamoe and these underclassmen to bring that momentum into the ITA Regionals.

  • 14-4 Doubles Record at the No. 1 position (led team)
  • 9-1 in her last 10 doubles matches
  • 3-2 in Singles Play
  • Ranked as high as No. 33 at the Doubles Position
  • 2016 Sun Belt Champion

Kristin Rehse: Entering her junior year, Rehse has gotten off to a fast start with two victories in singles competition at Baylor. She defeated Troy University’s Herlina and had a come from behind win over Wisconsin’s Zordani.

It’s no surprise that Rehse is off to a fast start after finishing last season with a 12-6 record at the No. 2 position in singles. Rehse is a well-rounded player that plays both singles and doubles for the team. In doubles she plays the No. 2 position and last year finished with a 4-4 record.

With Rehse making up half of the upperclassmen on this team, look for her to also begin heading into that leader role in singles competition.

  • 12-6 at the No. 2 Singles Position
  • Won 7 of her last 8 singles matches
  • 6-5 in doubles competition
  • Sun Belt Champion

Daniela Ramirez: Sophomore Ramirez is the best underclassman player this team has after finishing last year with a team-best 16-3 in singles play. She even went a team-best 10 game winning streak and 4-0 in conference play. Ramirez was only 17-years-old last season.

Ramirez brought her momentum on to this season already at the 2016 Bulldog Classic. Ramirez defeated No. 108 ranked Alex Valenstein of Texas Tech in just two sets, 6-3 and 7-6.

After already defeating a ranked opponent, Ramirez should have no problem facing tougher competition, especially at the ITA Regionals.

  • 16-3 Singles Record at No. 6 Position (led team)
  • 10 game match streak
  • Defeated No. 108 ranked player this season
  • 11-6 in Doubles competition
  • Sun Belt Champion